SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sunday will have a ring of fire in the sky.
It won’t be the stars aligning perfectly this time. On Sunday, it’ll be the moon, sun and the earth for an annular solar eclipse. It’s the first since 1994 in the United States.
“You can still see the edges of the sun lit up, so this is called an annular eclipse. It means a ring eclipse,” said Assistant Professor of Astronomy Barry Rice.
It’s also known as the ring of fire.
Stargazers in the Sacramento area plan to head to Redding or even better, Reno, where the skies are guaranteed to be clear.
In Sacramento, the eclipse won’t be as visible. Yuba City barely misses its path.
“What you will get to see is a partial eclipse, where the moon is mostly covering the sun and it’s still going to be spectacular, even from Sacramento,” said Rice.
The moon starts moving over the sun around 5:15 p.m. in Sacramento; and, it peaks at 6:32 p.m.
“You’ll only have about four minutes when the moon is completely covering up the sun as much as it can, and then it’ll start moving off,” said Rice.
About four minutes is how long this rare event will last.
There’s a warning not to look directly at the sun, though, without special solar eclipse glasses.
It’s a rare astronomical event that only a small fraction of the world will get to experience, and it’s not written in the stars to happen again for another 21 years.
“In fact, all the astronomers I know, we’re scurrying over the mountains to see this thing,” said Rice.
As the sun continues its path, the eclipse will then be visible over the North Pacific, in Japan and China the following morning.